Opinion

Top Headlines for 11/14

Child Welfare

Emily Canal of the New York Times wrote an excellent piece on the struggle of homeless families in the city to keep children in the school they want to attend. Canal uses Whitnee Layne and her daughter, N-Dia, to bring the challenges to life.

The Huffington Post’s Catherine Pearson reports on research that shows women who reported repeated episodes of forced sex in childhood or adolescence had a 62 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The effort to toughen child abuse reporting laws is underway in Pennsylvania in the wake of the Penn State scandal, reports Kris Maher of the Wall Street Journal. Richard Wexler of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform writes that requiring more mandatory reporters wouldn’t have helped in the scandal, and might have a negative impact on children going forward.

In Illinois, reports Beth Hundsdorfer of the News-Democrat, reporting of child abuse did nothing for the three children of Kim McGee, who was sentenced to five years in prison for child endangerment for locking three children in a closet.

A reader of New Jersey’s Daily Record responded in opposition to a column from early November, in which Dr. Aref Assaf criticized the state for allowing adoptive parents to convert children to their faith.

When it comes to foster children, writes Daniel Heimpel of Fostering Media Connections in the L.A. Daily News, the 99 percent are “failing to live up to our responsibility” to take care of the most vulnerable 1 percent. Heimpel writes in reaction to a recent study on the challenges faced by Los Angeles County youths who exit foster care into adulthood, particularly those youth who also have contact with the juvenile justice system along the way.

Education/Jobs

The operator of a homeless youth shelter tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Drew Singer that Pennsylvania’s unemployment assistance program may be incentivizing disconnected youth to stay disconnected.

President Barack Obama’s changes to the federal student loan repayment process “constitute nothing more than a platitude,” writes the editorial board of the Saginaw Valley Journal.

Juvenile Justice

Muskegon Chronicle (Michigan) columnist Paula Holmes-Greeley writes in support of review of life without parole sentences based on culpability, but not age.

Kids with serious mental health problems are cycling in and out of the juvenile justice system in the Pacific Northwest, reports Austin Jenkins of the Northwest News Network.

In Pennsylvania, reports Jack Brubaker of Lancaster Online, the trend with juvenile justice is decidedly away from residential services and towards community programs.

Jessica Talson of the Capital News Service reports on the recent establishment of Maryland’s first-ever detention alternative program designed only to serve girls.

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